Before Angie visited Wellspring, she barely left her house.
She had just journeyed through breast cancer and was “keeping to herself.”
Angie had a double mastectomy. She used to wear low-cut tops and at first, preferred the thought of death to the reality of living without her breasts.
“I was praying to God, ‘Please don’t let me wake up,’ and I woke up. It wasn’t a blessing at first, but it is now,” she said. “I’ve learned to let things go and not to worry about things that I can’t do anything about.”
After her surgery, she had her daughter cover all of the mirrors in her house so that she couldn’t catch a glimpse of her flat chest.
Then, she had 30 sessions of radiation that made her feel like she was burning from the inside out.
“I couldn’t bathe because the water in the shower would knock the skin off and give me third degree burns,” she said.
“As soon as you stop treatment, they [the doctors] feel like you are well even though emotionally you are not well,” Angie said.
After her friend invited her to come to Wellspring with her for breakfast, Angie enrolled in Wellspring’s 10 week “Art of Being” Art Therapy course.
In the afternoon, behind a curtained nook in Wellspring’s dining room, Angie created “Angie’s Bra” to honor the loss of her breasts.
“It’s representative of me when I had breasts,” she said of the relief sculpture.
“The head and the breast is made from palm trees,” she said. “I was walking down the street and the idea came into my head so I picked up the pieces. I had some braided hair that I rolled up, stuck it on some hot water to make it curl and then I glued it on there.”
What was it like for you to make this piece of art?
“I looked at it like putting the past behind me and going with the future because I was devastated when I lost my breasts,” she said. “I stopped putting myself out there and stayed shut up most of the time.”
What advice would you give to someone who is going through the journey of breast cancer?
“Trust God and pray a lot because it is something that you can’t imagine that you will have to go through,” she said. “It is like a journey and I was rebelling at first and then I had to accept it.”